Despite campaign promises of creating good-paying union jobs and investing in our nation’s infrastructure, President Joe Biden’s first week in office tells a bit of a different story as to what his presidency may bring.
From blocking the Keystone XL pipeline to halting oil and gas leasing on federal lands, the President’s anti-energy agenda is a threat to the American economy and our national security, as recently argued by GAIN spokesman Craig Stevens in InsideSources. Based on these early actions, Stevens notes, “it seems the president is paying homage to the vocal far-left rather than the millions of blue-collar union workers and working-class families who put him in the White House.”
Stevens goes into detail regarding the significant economic ramifications:
Biden’s decision to block the $9 billion Keystone XL pipeline — which was estimated to support 11,000 American jobs in 2021, generate $1.6 billion in gross wages, serve as a lifeline to labor unions in the wake of the pandemic, and ultimately usher in $140 million in annual property tax revenues for state and local governments — certainly does not seem to align with his promises of creating jobs and investing in infrastructure.
Or consider the president’s decision to ban oil and gas leasing on federal lands and waters.
Reports from the American Petroleum Institute forecast detrimental effects on the economy, with potential losses of nearly one million jobs by 2022, more than $9 billion in government revenue at risk, and U.S. households spending a cumulative $19 billion more on energy by 2030.
High energy-producing states with large areas of federal lands, such as New Mexico and Wyoming, stand to lose not only thousands of industry jobs and access to affordable energy but also billions in state revenue that could hurt public services, schools, infrastructure, and health care. In Wyoming, where more than half of the state’s oil and more than 90 percent of its natural gas is retrieved from federal land, the oil and gas industry paid $1.67 billion to state and local governments. In New Mexico, that number is even larger, with the industry contributing $3.1 billion, about 40 percent of the state’s revenue of which $1.4 billion is earmarked for education funding.
Beyond the economic impacts, Stevens emphasizes that these shortsighted policies don’t reduce American dependence on fossil fuels, but rather:
…these misguided, anti-energy policies revive American dependence on foreign energy and cut off access to reliable, affordable, American-produced energy to our allies and trade partners around the globe — jeopardizing our strategic advantage as a global hegemon and instead allowing foreign states to grow their influence.
As the U.S. continues its COVID-19 recovery, Stevens concludes that an “all of the above” energy strategy that includes investment in renewables but still recognizes the importance of American oil and gas is key to fueling our nation’s economy, bolstering energy security and national security, and achieving our shared future economic and environmental goals.